Life's all about sharing, even if we need to share our toys, our favorite food, our clothes, out thoughts, our emotions, our memories, our knowledge, our time, or more than all of that, our souls, almost all is about sharing. So why don’t we teach our children to share from their very first steps?
From their very first second in this beautiful world, they share their love with us, and we as parents, have in our responsibilities from that point on to teach our children how to share.
I love my children so much (I know you too), and this is why I want to raise them as good as I can. Sharing is one of the practices I want them to learn.
I know how hard it can be, but they need to learn this when they're infants and when they can grab objects. So let me share my methods with you:
Helping your toddler to share
Be a role model– Toddlers learn by just watching what others do. So you, as a parent, have them see when you share something with your family members or friends. During their first years of life, that don’t have an understanding of what sharing is, they're not able to manage their emotions, but it's there when they start to learn.
Talk about sharing– Be right there on the floor with them and just ask ‘Do you want to share this toy with your mother?’ or ‘Would you like to play together with this car?’ or ‘You have two dolls, can you give me one of them?’.
Give rewards– Talk to them about waiting and taking turns and at the end give them something back, as a reward. It can be just a kiss or a hug.
Benefits to others– If you catch a moment and you see your children when they are sharing something, tell them ‘Did you see how happy is Jane playing with that car?’ or ‘Look at Bob, what a big smile on his face! You made him happy, and I am proud of you’.
Start with little things– If they have some favorite toys, don’t start with those, make it simple and start with something they are comfortable to share. You can also try with the food when you give them to eat, ask them ‘Would you like to share this banana with me?’
Don’t punish your children– I know it can be embarrassing to see your child angry, pulling toys from other children’s hands, but if you make them feel embarrassed or ashamed, they become defensive and can associate sharing with negative emotions.
Be present for them– When you see a tense situation between your baby and another child, you need to intervene before things get too heated. You need to explain to them in a compassionate way, trying to make then think empathetically and ask them about their feelings, to describe how they feel, what they think about the situation (this is usually for preschoolers).
Don’t try to be perfect, we all make mistakes, but we must grow and learn along without children.
I hope you've read until the end of my article and you’ve found something useful in it :)